Translational Genomics in Cucumber - Tool Development & Application for Recessive Disease Resistance - USDA

Co-Principal Investigators:

Project end date: June 30, 2015

This project is funded by USDA and implemented by the Horticulture and collaborating Faculty/Departments at MSU. With release of the cucumber draft genome sequences, translational genomics is now practical for this important specialty crop. We propose to develop translational genomics tools and use them to address two critical issues in cucumber production – resistance against the newly emerged destructive strain of the downy mildew pathogen and persisting portyviruses. This project has four specific objectives:

  • Empower cucumber translational genomics with the development of 1,536-SNP array for high throughput genotyping, an integrated, high-resolution genetic-physical map, and virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS)-based functional genomic assay platform.
  • Apply translational genomics tools to expedite fine mapping of the recessively inherited resistance genes/QTLs against the new downy mildew strain; map-based cloning of the zym gene conferring multiple potyvirus resistances; and understanding of molecular interactions between the downy mildew pathogen and cucumber host;
  • Evaluate economic benefits of genetic improvements of disease resistance on commercial cucumber production.
  • Develop a comprehensive outreach program to effectively educate and communicate with stakeholders on outcome of the project and use of modern molecular technologies in plant breeding.

Our long-term goals are to develop molecular breeding tools for more efficient cucumber improvement, especially more effective introduction of recessive disease resistances into elite cucumber lines; to accelerate development of germplasm with enhanced resistance; and to better serve the needs of our stakeholders.  This multi-state, trans-disciplinary, collaborative research project addresses legislatively mandated focus area #1 (research in plant breeding, genetics, and genomics to improve crop characteristics), and belongs to SCRI-identified FY2011 priority topics #1 (research in plant breeding, genetics, and genomics to improve crop characteristics) and #2 (identify and address threats from pests and diseases).

Implementation: Apr. 2013 – Aug. 2015.

View USDA information on this research project